Best thermal paste for Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by eyepea, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. eyepea macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2012
    I noticed when I put some Arctic Silver 5 on the heat sink of my newly acquired 2012 MM i7 2.6Ghz that the sink is not as flush as it should be. I have a few MMs and have notice the heat sink (and their surfaces) is somewhat unrefined for what you would expect from Apple.

    I am wondering what thermal compound (heat sink paste) you use for the MM (or similar where the sink and surface of the processor are not perfect).

    I sm using AS5 but am looking for a better compound. I know AS5 is good but there are better compounds for situations when the sink and surface are not perfect.

    Any thoughts.

  2. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Thermal pastes in general are meant to fill the imperfections, if everything were polished to a mirror finish and fit perfectly, you wouldn't need them. Also, you tighten the screws of heat sinks in a cross-wise fashion, otherwise they may not sit perfectly on the chips or break something due to uneven pressure.

    Having said that, I'm using Arctic Cooling MX-4, because unlike AS5, it's non-conducting.
  3. SoCalReviews, Mar 16, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013

    SoCalReviews macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2012
    Using non-conductive thermal pastes for CPUs on notebooks and extreme small form factor based machines is a really good idea. Arctic Silver 5 works well but it is really designed for use with the normal sized boards and processors. If any of that paste bleeds over onto the surrounding board circuitry and causes a short you could be SOL. Another problem is that that paste is very difficult to wipe completely off if it spills over and gets on other components. If you have already applied the Arctic Silver and it works ok then I would leave it alone. If for some reason you need to remove the paste or reapply paste then I believe Arctic Silver sells a removal compound that helps remove their thermal paste or other thermal pastes from surfaces. As an alternative to using the silver paste I used the Arctic ceramic paste on my notebook heatsink/CPU because it is non-conductive.

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